Retired seniors stand to lose thousands due to obscure Medicare prescription drug rule.

Leon and I had to continue working past age 65 and they remained self-insured for prescription drugs. They signed up for Medicare, but they didn’t know about an obscure Medicare rule requiring retirees to sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

They never received any notice about the age 65 requirement they paid into Medicare and years went by without any notice of the expired prescription enrollment period. 

Then, last December they received notices that because they hadn’t signed up at age 65 they owed a late enrollment penalty. Adding the penalty increased their monthly Medicare bill 93 percent. The letter came with an explanation that if they disagreed with the penalty they could petition Medicare to reconsider.

Almost mockingly, as if daring the couple to wade in to the Medicare bureaucracy, the list of acceptable reasons that Medicare might reconsider the penalty includes living outside the United States, receiving extra help from Medicare and being in the path of Hurricane Katrina. It does not include an option for those who simply self-insure and didn’t know about this extra enrollment rule.

They are in the process of appealing the penalty now. 

This letter will go to our elected representatives as well as this newspaper. Perhaps in this election year the situation will get some attention and in a small way the government will adjust to work for the people. However, this is a classic example of government over-complicating a situation and absolutely not working in the best interest of citizens who have dutifully paid taxes, social security and Medicare bills their entire lives.

At the very least, I hope their story helps others become more aware. 

Politicians on TV commercials and primary debates may promise all kinds of wonderful things, but the Medicare bureaucrats aren’t running for election.

You need to call these numbers and say something to put a stop to it; John Huntsman campaign manager, Maiki Jones, (435) 598-2324; Darin Owens (435) 851-1284; Tooter Ogden, Sevier Valley Comm. (435) 979-6310; Mike Lee (801) 524-5933; Mitt Romney (435) 671-8299, Washington (202) 224-0774; Ben McAdams, (801) 999-9801; Adam Snow, (435) 627-1500 or (435) 212-1187; Donald Trump campaign office, 1-800-445-5768

Ginny Chirstensen


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